Sponsor’s perspective: Humbled by the forgiveness of the Rwandan people

By Daniel and Stephanie, Rwanda Child Sponsors

The day with our sponsored families was the highlight of our holiday and a day that will remain with us for the rest of our lives.

 

We have been sponsoring children with World Vision for about 12 years. Instead of giving each other Christmas presents, we thought it would be a nice thing to sponsor children and that’s how we started off.

About 12 months ago we thought, “we’ve been sponsoring Emmanuel and Consolee in Rwanda for so long, it would be nice to go and visit, to see what World Vision is doing and the projects we are supporting”, so that’s why we went.

It was tremendously worthwhile

When we got to the Rebero project, just looking at the work World Vision had done, the standard that they had lifted the communities to; it was just an amazing experience. We learned that with our support, World Vision had built seven schools. It certainly convinced me that World Vision was doing a fantastic job.

Seeing how World Vision works

I was a bit surprised. The standards that World Vision lifts the community to, that surprised me, you know, it wasn’t about individual families. It was about how they could improve the community standards and living.

 

Obviously the money that we sponsor the children with, it goes to the schools and back into the community. I think that’s a good thing because it gives them broader improvement.

 

It’s certainly opened my eyes and convinced me. Just the dedication of the World Vision team over there, it’s just fantastic, they’re passionate people. They really put in the hard yards, and they bent over backwards to make our trip meaningful and enjoyable.

Meeting Emmanuel and Consolee

It was very emotional. We were made very welcome, we sat down and shared some maize and bananas and a drink.

We made little speeches and it was clear that the family was really grateful for sponsorship, and I’m not saying from us, but from World Vision sponsors in general. Emmanuel’s family were able to buy some land and they received some goats through our sponsorship.

 

It was clear that, in terms of education, Emmanuel had done well. He really would like to be a doctor.

 

Now I don’t know if he can achieve that but he has been well educated and he has plans to go on. It certainly looked like Emmanuel could go on to higher education. In general the whole thing was encouraging.

Consolee had also done very well at school. It’s her aspiration to be a doctor as well, once again, I’m not sure if they’ll make it, but they’ve got every chance. And they wouldn’t have that if there wasn’t sponsorship through the community and World Vision hadn’t built the schools. I was just overwhelmed by the work that World Vision had done.

Seeing how gracious and forgiving the people are, despite the horrors they once faced

My heart went out to them. For what we give, it’s nothing compared to how they live, and to me it’s not generous, it’s just what we should do.

 

I talk about the people more than anything. They’re very gracious. They don’t have a lot but they’re prepared to share it.

They’re community minded. They’re family-oriented. I was totally impressed by them, it was very emotional. At one point Stephanie and Consolee’s mother were in tears, just the emotion of it. And you feel humbled by it; you feel humbled by the gratitude that they have and you know what you give is not a lot in our terms. It makes you want to give more to be honest.

Rwanda’s a beautiful place, the geography and topography is absolutely beautiful, but they’ve been through hell, they had the genocide in the 90s where 800,000 people were murdered. For them to have recovered to the extent they have with forgiveness for their perpetrators; that’s empowering.

 

In a country where poverty is the norm, they have fantastic values and integrity, I’m just … I’m just sold on them, I think they’re fantastic. It’s clear that World Vision’s influence has been at the fore in all of this.

I don’t think I could forgive someone who killed my son or my wife, but they do … and that’s admirable.

It was apparent in the community that we visited that they live in harmony; they know one another, they help one another. And I think it’s promoted through World Vision to a great extent.

My message to other Rwanda sponsors …

The things I’d like to share, is that if you have the time and the wherewithal to visit, you should make it a priority. If you ever have doubts about whether or not the money you sponsor through World Vision is going to the right places or the right people; it will prove it.

Secondly, I think the families really appreciate the visit. And from a personal and emotional perspective, I would encourage others to go and just to see. I understand that sponsorship is a very big thing, I’m just glad that sponsors have the opportunity to do it.

Are you interested in visiting your sponsored child in Rwanda? Find out more

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